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Three silhouetted figures feeling pains in different parts of their bodies

What Happens When I Fail to Listen to my Body

I fought my body for most of my chronic life. The problem with that was that my body wasn’t the enemy, psoriatic arthritis and my other chronic illnesses were. My body was the victim and instead of heeding the warning signals it was sending me, I ignored them. After a while, the price of ignoring them became too steep and I conceded to the fact that I had to start listening to its demands and catering to its needs. Is it worth the extra attention and work? You tell me. Here are five results of failing to listen to my body.

1. Injuries

Ignoring my body often ends in with an injury. Too much physical activity or not getting enough rest literally throws off my balance. If I don’t sit down and/or rest when I feel myself swaying or begin stumbling, I will fall. In the past, I have bruised elbows, ribs, hips, and even broke my tailbone. Had I made time to rest, used a mobility aid, was more careful about taking my time, or not rushing I would not have spent as much time laid up.

2. Pain chain reaction

If I ignore the pain that my body is in, I end up in even more pain. I have found that by addressing and treating my pain before it gets out of control to be the best way to avoid days in bed. When I ignore it, it not only becomes harder to decrease, it often causes other problems. For example, when the muscles in my lower back are unhappy, the pain that is inflicted spreads up my spine. The longer I ignore it the more of my body it affects. Sometimes the ignored pain or symptom creates a new health issue, which leads to even more pain and time spent in bed.

3. Sickness

The chance of my catching every germ that comes near me multiplies when I fail to listen to my body. I have learned to avoid crowds when I am feeling worn out or more tired than normal. To spend less time visiting my doctor, I have to spend more time evaluating what my body can handle.

4. Frustration

Failure to listen to my body leads to frustration. If I push myself to tackle a task when my body is exhausted, I make mistakes, do a poor job, or I fail to finish what I started.

5. Defeat

Every complication, setback, and frustration made me wonder why I even tried at all. I didn’t see the purpose in attempting to do what I desired when my body wasn’t going to cooperate. Listening to my body is only difficult when I wait too long to recognize what it is saying. I had to learn what minor signs of pain or symptoms led up to the major ones before they spiraled out of control. It requires acknowledging and feeling the pain that I would rather pretend didn’t exist. Listening to my body and attending to its needs is not optional, it is mandatory.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Rojo
    2 months ago

    I am liking all five but especially “Defeat” after way too many years of media and health “experts” screaming out “Work through the pain!”, “No pain, No gain”, “Soldier through it!”, even “shop til you drop”. It’s so refreshing to hear a voice for compassion.

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